Travel destinations

The 19 most popular travel destinations in the world of design | Architectural Summary

Afterwards I like to take the Thames Walk, walk into the Tate, exit the back door and head to my favorite tapas restaurant, Jose on Bermondsey, with a stop at Flea Vintage Makers Market or Borough Market (my absolute favorite!). Also, I love Fortnum & Mason and Liberty, and the Sir John Soane Museum is another little hideaway for me. —Brandon Jørgensen, Atelier Jørgensen

Portraits adorn the walls of Ballyfin, a 19th-century Irish mansion.

Photo: Amelia Troubridge

County Laois, Ireland

Ballyfin is one of the finest country hotels in Ireland, if not all of Europe. The glamor of this 19th century stately home is unrivaled for its restored décor and magnificent furnishings. For a truly awe-inspiring experience – and if you ever wanted to feel like lord of the mansion – this is your place. Located in County Laois, it’s about a two hour drive outside of Dublin and set in its own estate (better known as the Estate and Park) it’s complete with magical folly resembling a castle in the park allowing you to be transported on time. The lavish decor that creates the sumptuous bedrooms is a true lesson in country house style, while the Irish hospitality and service is second to none. It’s an immersive and inspiring experience where aristocratic Irish history surrounds you at every turn. —Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Botswana

It is such an experience to sit in a jeep and observe the life of wild animals in a completely untouched and unpolluted environment, surrounded by nothing but yourself and the tranquility of nature. I love wildlife. Witnessing the game of life and being among wild animals in their most natural elements is truly special. —Jean-Michel Gathy

An 1860s house in Istanbul restored by interior design consultant Serdar Gülgün is filled with Ottoman art and furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Photo: Reto Guntli

Istanbul

The world tends to be my paint box, the colorful inspiration for everything I do. I love to travel as much as possible and often return to beloved places that feed my soul. Istanbul is a major player in my love affair with travel. The city not only offers history and culture, but also reveals beautiful people, food, and incredible artisans, many of whom still practice crafts passed down for many generations. It’s a true blend of East and West with touches of modern luxury and old-world glamour. Design abounds throughout the city where religion and culture have blended over the centuries to formulate a style all its own, echoing the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire. —Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Kep, Cambodia

Knai Bang Chatt Resort in Kep, Cambodia [is a must-see]. Although definitely off the beaten path, Knai Bang Chatt holds a place in my heart as the most beautiful place I have stayed. I was there years ago after a two week trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. At the southern end, facing the Gulf of Thailand, is Kep. There is a long and sad story about its history: Kep was once the most popular seaside town in Cambodia, but it fell on hard times because of the Khmer Rouge. Many mainly French villas in Kep are abandoned, but some have been restored. The water is warm and the sea is calm. Must visit Angkor Wat if in Cambodia, and once in Kep, take a ride with a fisherman to a local private island for an informal dinner on the beach. —Elisabeth Roberts

Bhutan

My main destinations are those where there is wildlife, mountain huts or remote islands. Sequestered at home for a year and a half, I heard many people react by expressing a desire to live and big parties, but not me. I instinctively want to travel to wide open spaces, plains and mountains, and above all, to taste the fresh air of mountains, oceans or wildlife.